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Two or more molecular entities (atoms, molecules, ions) are described as being isoelectronic[1] with each other if they have the same number of valence electrons and the same structure (number and connectivity of atoms), regardless of the nature of the elements involved.


N and the O+ ion are isoelectronic because each has 5 electrons in the outer electronic shell.

CO, N2 and NO+ are isoelectronic because each have 2 nuclei and 10 valence electrons (4+6, 5+5, and 5+5, respectively).

CH2=C=O and CH2=N+=N- are isoelectronic.

CH3COCH3 and CH3N2CH3 are not isoelectronic. They do have the same number of nuclei and the same number of valence electrons, but the atoms' connectivity is different: the first one has both methyl (CH3) groups attached to carbonyl's (CO's) carbon atom; the second molecule's structure is linear: H3C-N=N-CH3; methyl groups are not connected to the same nitrogen atom.


  1. ^ Compendium of Chemical Terminology, isoelectronic

See also

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Isoelectronicity". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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